What a difference a year makes, right? Here we are in early April scraping for leftovers while this time last year Andreas Fransson was throwing down the first descent of the east couloir of the Grand Gendarme d’Envers du Plan. In a valley where first ascents are hard to come by you gotta respect a guy who rolls in from Sweden and snaps up one of the rare gems.
François Damilano’s Neige, Glace et Mixte, tome 2, gives a climbing grade of IV, 5, M (700m) and not much more. Andreas reckons “it was probably 40-50˚ the whole way.” Bear in mind that Andreas is Swedish, so for Americans it’s a solid 60-70˚ fer sure.
And here’s the POV shot by Andreas with interview and editing by Bjarne Sahlén
Me, I’m thinking I woulda skipped the rappels and opted instead for a straightline to my patented starfish helicopter (always a crowd pleaser), but that’s just me.
Andreas made the first ski descent on 8 April 2010. Happy first descent day. Respect. For more of his big mountain shenanigans, check out his blog at http://andreasfransson.blogspot.com/.
And if you want to ski like him, you’ll need to get yourself some Haglöfs clothing, Nordica skis, Oakley eyewear, Dynafit boots/binders and POC protection.